Paula Bennett, the Local Government minister in New Zealand, has called for innovative steps to ensure public participation in undoing archaic rules and regulations, reports NZ Herald. The reformist minister hit out at the hard rules choking citizens even in silly matters like signage for cake stalls or position of shower curtains.
According to the minister, in a radically new reform, the government will be taking the public into confidence by giving them an opportunity to express their thoughts, suggestions and opinions about various pedantic and unnecessary regulations.
Web site soon
The minister proposed a new Web site to allow the public to submit opinions on rules that are ripe for change.
The minister noted the government's plan to set up a Rules Reduction Taskforce to chop heavy bureaucracy and scrap loopy regulations at local and central governments.
The taskforce will comprise trades people and building experts who will decide whether many of the existing rules are necessary or to dump them. Bennett said the six-person board will not have any bureaucrat.
Rules Not to Confuse
The Local Minister noted that many rules and regulations are costly but not delivering any real benefit for the property owner or the wider public. There is a pervasive reach in the rules. A property owner cannot repair his 130-year-old fence if a portion of it is touching the resort land.
Reforms in Electricity Sector
Meanwhile, the National Business Review has a report highlighting the mess in New Zealand's power sector. It quotes the Electricity Authority as planning some stringent curbs on power companies that are practicing saving and winning of customers and stopping them from switching to other providers.
Customers switch to other retailers under a competitive offer. Under the new rules, the Electricity Authority wants a a public consultation inducements so that small retailers who are trying to build a new customer base are protected.
Electricity Retail Market
The regulator quotes many figures to show this and highlights a specific case of Pulse Utilities having lost 20 per cent of its new customers to these practices with customers being offered inducements between $150 and $300 to stop changing the retailer.
To counter the problem, EA has proposed retailers who are traders to choose a practice of 10-day switching period or 10 days after a switch in winning back a customer.